Minister hosts farming summit

A landmark summit will be held by Environment Secretary Owen Paterson to help farmers after a "particularly tough" year. Ways of improving farmers' access to financial support after a year of bad weather will be discussed.

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Livestock farmer: 'Things are undoubtedly tough'

Tim Jones, a livestock farmer from Worcestershire, told Daybreak that "things are undoubtedly tough" for farmers.

Farmer Tim Jones says things are "tough" at the moment.

He said a harsh winter has been followed by a run of dry weather, which has left livestock farmers like him, "desperately short of grass" for the sheep.

"Input costs have gone up, with animal feed now 18% more expensive than it was 12 months ago", he added.

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Wheat crops 'written off' because of bad weather

Food prices are likely to rise after UK farmers reported a poor harvest due to the rainy summer.

Today Environment Secretary Owen Paterson will address farming representatives at a summit which will discuss ways of improving farmers' access to financial support.

The NFU's March 2013 cereals update showed:

  • A decline in winter wheat of around 12%, with some crops written off, the crop will rely on good growing conditions from now on
  • Demand of winter barley and oats has declined, and planting has suffered, winter oats could in stead be replaced by spring oats
  • A quarter of oilseed rape is in a "very poor condition"

Could the British weather be getting wetter?

Environment Secretary Owen Paterson will host a summit for farming representatives, charities and banks to discuss the effects of last year's bad weather on the industry.

Following the second wettest year since records began, farmers have warned that heavy rainfall could affect the price of food.

Long-term averages of 30-year periods show an increase in annual rainfall of about 5% from 1961-1990 to 1981-2010:

  • 1961-1990: 1100.6mm
  • 1971-2000: 1126.1mm
  • 1981-2010: 1154.0mm

Source: Met Office

Owen Paterson: We should be proud of our farmers

Environment Secretary Owen Paterson said the UK should be "proud" of the "fantastic" job farmers do.

He will hold a summit today to discuss the financial worries of many farmers after a year of bad weather.

Read: Weetabix cereal production hit by poor harvest

Environment Secretary Owen Paterson Credit: Rui Vieira/PA Wire

He added: "This last year has been particularly tough. Farming contributes a huge amount to our environment and our economy.

"We want to ensure that farmers are able to deal with challenges like bad weather, to grow their businesses, create new jobs and help the country compete in the global race."

Read: Poor weather affects the summer harvest

Minister hosts summit to help farmers after 'tough' year

A landmark summit will be held by Environment Secretary Owen Paterson to help farmers after a "particularly tough" year.

Read: Farmers warn wet weather will push up food prices

A vehicle manages to get across the flooded Somerset Levels during heavy rain last year Credit: Ben Birchall/PA Wire

Banks, charities and farming representatives will attend the meeting at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

Ways of improving farmers' access to financial support after a year of bad weather will be discussed.

Read: Wet weather misery sweeps the UK

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